The University of Madras organised an international students' summit for the first time, with the participation of foreign students pursuing higher education in the university and in city colleges on Wednesday.

Inaugurating the summit, Andrew T. Simkin, US Consul General, said US universities and colleges were taking efforts to internationalise campuses as education felicitated exchange of cultures better. Of the seven lakh international students from 200 countries in the US, Indian students accounted for 1.04 lakh.

Inaugurating the facilities of the University Centre for International Relations (UCIR) and its new facilities, David Holly, Consul General, Australia, said the University of Madras has signed four MoUs with Australian universities and would soon offer a course on heritage.

Nickolay A Listopadov, Consul General, Russian Federation, asked foreign students to expose themselves to the rich culture of the State. It was important to be exposed to different cultures, he said, expressing eagerness to closely work with the university on different exchange programmes.

G. Thiruvasagam, Vice-Chancellor, University of Madras, said the university facilitated exchange of students both ways. Eight students from the university and two faculty members would be selected to go to nine European universities for study. There were 824 foreign students in the university and city colleges. The university was exploring the possibility of offering scholarships to foreign students.

A cultural programme was part of the summit.